City Leaders, Experts Speak at Forum on Undoing Racism in the Nation’s Cities
WASHINGTON – One year after the unrest in Ferguson following the death of Michael Brown, and on the eve of the 52nd anniversary of the March On Washington, the National League of Cities (NLC) will host Undoing Racism in America's Cities and Towns, a forum that explores how city leaders are advancing racial understanding and healing within communities across the nation. The forum, held at the Newseum's Knight Broadcast Studio in Washington, will feature a panel that includes Gary, Ind. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Cleveland Councilman and NLC 2nd Vice President Matt Zone and Tim Wise, antiracism activist and author of the memoir White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son.
"Even more than 50 years after the historic March on Washington, our nation continues to grapple with racism and inequities that suppress opportunity and hope for millions of Americans," said National League of Cities CEO Clarence E. Anthony. "Today, with city leaders, experts and members of the public, we can have a frank discussion for how we can help undo the systemic and structural causes of racism and create the inclusive communities that will help all our residents thrive."
NLC created the Race, Equity And Leadership (R.E.A.L.) initiative in March to equip local officials with effective tools to address the historical, systemic and structural barriers caused by racism and inequities. Through R.E.A.L., NLC will strengthen the leadership capacity of local elected officials to address the impact of race and equity issues - and, ultimately to evolve and strengthen inclusive, thriving and healthy communities.
"City leaders talk with our residents every day about the issues that matter to them, which includes issues of race, racial healing and racial equity," said Matt Zone, councilman, Cleveland, and National League of Cities 2nd Vice President. "In just the past year, we've seen how racism continues to divide communities and influence the lives of countless Americans. Forums like REAL Talk will help city leaders advance racial understanding and create a more equitable future."
Video from the event will be available at NLC.org following the event.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.